HOUSTON—Many local jobs will be lost as President Barack Obama shuts down operations on 33 deep-water-exploratory rigs in the Gulf.
Of all the deep-water rigs or drilling ships that are currently in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 of them are owned by Transocean—the same company that owned the Deepwater Horizon. Six are owned by Nobel, six by Diamond Offshore and two by Ensco.
All four companies’ deep-water operations are based in Houston.
Every day the rigs aren’t working, the big players could lose up to $5 million.
The companies are still trying to determine exactly what the moratorium will mean for their operations, but they aren’t the only ones who will be affected.
There are literally hundreds of other supporting businesses that depend on the deep-water business: companies that provide the oil pipe, companies that provide drilling mud, and shipping companies that bring supplies out to the rigs.
Some people expressed worry that the suspension will last longer than the six months that the Obama Administration plans.
"We are going to see investment in this industry slow down and consequently we won’t get the job growth," said Andy Lipow, an oil analyst.
There is also worry that the companies that own the rigs could move them to other parts of the world. There is plenty of demand as the vast majority of the largest potential oil reserves—not just in the Gulf—are in deep water.